In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission mandated that light bulb packaging include a Lighting Facts label similar to the ingredient labels found on food packaging.  Here we provide some guidance on those labels.

Lumens.  Lumens measure a light’s brightness, or luminosity. Back in the day of incandescent bulbs, watts, a measure of energy, were used to measure brightness.  But since LED light bulbs are so energy efficient, the new measure is lumens, which is just a measure of brightness.  The more lumens the brighter the bulb.  For comparison’s sake, here are the equivalents of lumens to watts from the old style of incandescent light bulbs:

While LED light bulbs use little energy, they still use some, and packages may disclose the watts used.  For example, a bulb with a brightness of 800 lumens may use 10 watts.  As a reminder, the watts shown on these labels are not reflective of the brightness.

Light appearance 

Light appearance is based on the temperature of the bulb, which is measured in Kelvins (K).  Here is a guide for light appearance, and suitability:


LED light packages will show expected life, often based on the amount of use.  LED lights generally do not burn out.  But the light begins to fade, and the bulb is considered useful until the light has diminished by 30%.  This is the number on the package.  Note that LED lights can last 20 years or more, while incandescent bulbs usually last less than one year.  

Energy Cost.

LED bulb packages will show you estimated yearly energy cost, based on specific usage. One of the key advantages of LED light bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs is energy savings.

Energy Star

If there is an Energy Star label it means the bulb uses 20% to 30% less energy than required by federal standards.  It also means you may be able to get rebates from your utility company.  Check out to find out.

Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric Can Help You with Lighting and More

Ravinia Plumbing’s licensed electricians can help you with all your lighting questions and needs, and more.  We’ve been in business since 1928 (that’s 95 years!), and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable HVAC, plumbing, drain and sewer and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact us today.